Serguei Popov

Serguei Popov, born in Brazil, is a research mathematician working in the field of Probability Theory and Stochastic Processes.[6] He is an angel investor and the co-founder of .


In 1994, he received his Diploma from Moscow State University for the department of Mathematics and Mechanics.[8]

He graduated from and attained his Ph.D. for department of Mathematics and Mechanics at the Moscow State University under the supervision of Professor Mikhail Menshikov, in 1997.[2]


In the beginning of his career, Serguei moved to Brazil to do a post doctoral, and then progressed to professorship first in the University of Sao Paulo.

In 1994, he started working as a Research assistant at the Laboratory of Large Random Systems, Moscow State University, then left in 1998.

He had been a Postdoctoral researcher at the IME-USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 1998 to 2001.

In 1998, he started working as Researcher at the Dobrushin's Mathematical Laboratory, IITP.

In February 2001, he started working as Assistant Professor (MS-3) at the IME-USP, São Paulo, Brazil.

Then, from February 2022, he started working as Associated Professor (MS-5) at the IME-USP, São Paulo, Brazil, then left in 2009.

In February 2009, he started working as a Professor (MS-6) at the University of Campinas(IME-UNICAMP), Campinas, Brazil, worked there for over 11 years and then he left in March 2020.
In March 2020, he became a Senior Researcher in Mathematics at University of Porto, Portugal.[3]

Serguei Popov published 83 articles in refereed journals and 1 book.

Crypto Career

Serguei's fascination with cryptocurrencies was initiated in late 2013 when, after stumbling upon an article about , he became an avid reader of and discovered an innovative project called , the open-source and payment network.

Serguei became aware that, cryptocurrency have a lot to do with 'Poisson processes', something that he understood well. So, he did some back-of-envelope calculations about the Nxt blockchain, and shared them on the Bitcoin forum. He achieved notoriety in the Nxt community after publishing a short note with calculations on the block generating process in . Together with the founder of the Nxt and other people from the Nxt community, he co-founded in 2015.[4]

While working on the probabilistic aspects of the , Serguei had a lot of discussions with a.k.a. Come-from-Beyond, who also was the mysterious BCNext, the founder of the and invited Serguei to work on the theoretical side of IOTA, in the beginning of 2015. They together haved worked a lot on system’s theoretical design, later on, the current design was agreed upon after many iterations and failed attempts.[10]

Serguei joined as a Member of Board Directors at in August 2018. He then started as Director of Research in November 2019, worked at IOTA for over three years and then he left in January 2022.

Serguei decided to join the Supervisory Board by stepping down from member of board directors, because the most pressing research questions, which have demanded his immediate involvement in the IOTA Foundation, had been answered and he wants to refocus on his academic career. He commented,

Scientifically, I have given all I could give to IOTA, and now the research problems to which I could de facto contribute are essentially solved from the theoretical point of view.

Serguei had handed over management of the IOTA research department to William Sanders in February 2021, leaving him free to focus on managerial oversight rather than day-to-day decisions and responsibilities.

Serguei wrote the first whitepaper on the - Tangle, which became the foundational basis of the IOTA vision. Serguei was also a leading force behind the IOTA Foundation’s research department, officially headed it as Director of Research from late 2019 to 2022, which today is one of the leading research groups in the field of distributed ledger technology.

Commenting on the change in his position, Serguei said,

I’m happy that my mission at the IOTA Foundation is complete and that its Research Department continues to grow from strength to strength under the excellent leadership of William Sanders, leaving me free to return fully to my academic career (while I still can) and exchange the craziness of the crypto space for academia. Nevertheless, rest assured that I remain convinced of IOTA’s mission, and joining the Supervisory Board of the IOTA Foundation permits me to still be around and be of help, in case it is needed. I would like to take this occasion to express my profound gratitude to all people who shared this IOTA journey with me, from the very start to the present.

He's also the advisor for Cartesi project, in which he invested $100K on May 1, 2018, for the Angel round.



  • 28o Colóquio Brasileiro de Matemática, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 18-29
  • XV Escola Brasileira de Probabilidade, Angra dos Reis, Brazil, July 31 - August 6.
  • 5th International Conference on Stochastic Analysis and its Applications, Bonn, Germany, September 5-9


  • Percolation and Interacting Systems, Berkeley, U.S., February 20-24.
  • XII Latin American Congress of Probability and Mathematical Statistics (CLAPEM), Viña del Mar, Chile, March 26-30
  • Random Walks and Random Media, Berkeley, U.S., April 30 - May 4
  • SINAPE-2012. João Pessoa, Brazil, July 30 - August 3
  • 3rd Workshop on Stochastic Modeling, Campinas, Brazil, August 29-31


  • Random walks: crossroads and perspectives, Budapest, Hungary, June 24-28
  • XVII Escola Brasileira de Probabilidade, Angra dos Reis, Brazil, August 4-10
  • Two days in stochastic analysis II, Campinas, Brazil, August 12-13


  • 11th German Probability and Statistics Days, Ulm, Germany, March 4-7
  • Discrete Markov Chains: mixing times and beyond, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 27-31


  • Geometry of Random Walks and SLE: a Birthday Conference for Greg Lawler, Cambridge, UK, June 15-19
  • XIX Escola Brasileira de Probabilidade, São Sebastião, Brazil, August 3-8


  • Random Walk in Random Graphs, DLA, and Related Topics, Marseille, France, June 6-8
  • Leysin Workshop, Leysin, Switzerland, June 8-10
  • XX Escola Brasileira de Probabilidade, São Carlos, Brazil, July 4-9
  • Joint Meeting Brazil - Italy in Mathematics, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 29 - September 02
  • Francis Comets' 60th birthday conference, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, December 12-16


  • Mathematical Congress of the Americas, Montreal, Canada, July 24-28


  • Polymer, Folding and Phase Transition, Marseille, France, April 3-6
  • The 40th Conference on Stochastic Processes and their Applications – SPA 2018, Gothenburg, Sweden, June 11-15
  • CIMPA School: Geometry and scaling of random structures, Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 15-27



  • Blockchain Life 2019 Moscow, Moscow City, Russsia, October 16 [5]

Awards and Fellowships

  • Long-term research Grant by International Science Foundation, 1995
  • Grant by ISSEP (Sorosovskie Aspiranty), 1996
  • Grant by ISSEP (Sorosovskie Aspiranty), 1997
  • Research Grant by Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research, 1997
  • Fellowship (No. 24/17) by the Government of Russia, 1997
  • Fellowship by FAPESP, 2001
  • Fellowship by CNPq, 2020
  • Fellowship by FAPESP (2018~2020)
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